Acropolis [Greek akron = point, summit + polis = city]
Initially, an acropolis was simply a fortified hill serving as a stronghold for Greek city-states. Later, the acropolis took on a religious function as a sacred citadel built on high ground within or near a town.
The most famous but by no means only acropolis contains the Parthenon and the Erechtheum at Athens, connected with Athena worship. In 447 BCE a massive statue of Athena stood within its center, the patron goddess of Athens. Although the original statue has been lost, a reconstruction stands in Nashville, Tennessee, within a full-size replica of the Parthenon.
In the 6th century the famed Parthenon was converted into a Christian church.
In 1975 an extensive restoration project began.
The aim of the restoration was to reverse the decay of centuries of attrition, pollution, destruction by acts of war, and misguided past restorations.¹
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